Sustainable Tourism Development in a Network of Cross Border National Parks and Protected Areas

Project title:  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN A NETWORK OF CROSS-BORDER NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTED AREAS

Countries:   BENIN, BURKINA FASO, GAMBIA, GUINEA,

GUINEA BISSAU, MALI, MAURITANIA, NIGER, SENEGAL AND SIERRA LEONE

Region: AFRICA

Current status:       Ongoing       Concluded

Duration (est.)/dates: 2008- May2011

Partner entities:   Islamic Conference Organization (ICO), Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)

Source(s) of Funding: ST-EP Foundation, KOICA

Executing Agency:   UNWTO in collaboration with ICO and KOICA

Main project objectives:  to synergise the efforts of the 10 states in order to optimise the protected areas which they hold in common

Lesotho is experiencing a high unemployment rate and has many people living below the poverty line. The project area has some accommodation facilities for tourists, but the communities in the area hardly benefit from tourism activities. This project would enhance the local economic impact from tourism by ensuring that community members can establish rural home stays and sell goods and services to tourists and tourism enterprises.

Activities:

A feasibility study of following key areas was carried out:

  • Extending the process of economic integration in the region to include a rational management of the cross border protected areas and the development of ecotourism;
  • Promotion of sustainable tourism and assure the conservation of the sub region’s biodiversity;
  • Reduction of poverty among local communities by increasing their income and employment and by promoting revenue generating activities;
  • Establishing a network of cross border parks and protected areas building on the successful experience of cross border parks in East and Southern Africa;
  • Competitive and viable alternative ecotourism destination.

Main project outputs/deliverables:

  1. Comparative databases in each country have been created;
  2. Products related and launched on the regional and international markets through marketing and public relations activity;
  3. Cross border trails and circuits: itineraries, facilities, guides, ancillary activities, networks, signage and interpretation, created;
  4. Sustainable biodiversity management: joint management plans, fair sharing of biological resources, common methods of evaluation, monitoring and protection;
  5. Activities and interventions of private sector operators, civil society, local communities and public bodies monitored;
  6. Stimulus of local community development: development and renovation of core infrastructure, provision of goods and services to tourists;
  7. Revenue generating activities contributing to the reduction of poverty among communities in and around protected areas: craft production, local produce, jobs and education.

Remarks:   

Results of the feasibility study were presented at a Donors Conference held in Dakar, Senegal on 27 – 28 May 2011. The conference was attended by over 200 participants, which included the African Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, both of which made commitments to the project.

 

01/2008 - 05/2011